Read the first stanza (below) of the song, “Mary, did you know?” by Mark Lowry, and keep in mind what Mary might have been thinking as she awaited the birth of her firstborn…
Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem because of the census that Caesar Augustus had decreed. The rich lush fields and meadows surrounding Bethlehem, or as it is known in Hebrew, “House of Bread”, is where Ruth, Jesse and David lived, overlooking picturesque valleys and farmlands, as sheep grazed on the hillside. This is the birth place of the Baby, Who would later boldly declare, “I Am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35; 51). This is where the shepherds had received a message from an angel of the Lord. They were to go and seek out the newly born babe, and pay Him homage, right there in their own backyard. The Lamb of God was born in a stable a short distance from where flocks of sheep were bedded down for the night. When they shared what the angel had said to them with the new parents and others, everyone marveled. Scripture tells us that “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
I imagine Mary looked lovingly down at her baby boy and whispered, “Welcome to the world, my Son. Be at peace. Your dad and I are here – and will always be here for You. We love You so much!” I’m sure she vividly recalled the moment when an angel of the Lord visited her with the announcement, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” She no doubt shook her head as she remembered him saying, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” What a journey it had been. She had surely seen the Lord God move in miraculous ways since that first greeting by His holy messenger.
Looking through Mary’s journal, let’s take a look at some of the more memorable moments she most likely recalled during her lifetime…
- Not long after learning that she was with child, Mary took a journey into the hill country to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth, wife of Zacharias the priest. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb “leaped” and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, saying with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:39-43)
– During one of their many trips to the Holy City for the Feast of the Passover, Mary and Joseph, supposing Jesus was with their relatives on the return trip, discovered He was missing. Upon circling back to the city, they discovered Him three days later sitting in the midst of the teachers, engaging them and inquiring about the holy scriptures. She and Joseph were amazed, but concerned, asking him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously!” Of course, she readily recalled His answer, “Why is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:41-49)
– After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, He had several disciples join Him. Just a few days later she had attended a wedding in Cana of Galilee with them. She remembered how embarrassed the family was about running out of wine before the festivities had ended. She recalled telling her Son about their dilemma, and His reply of, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” Though perplexed, she instructed the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Well, what a celebration that was! Not only were the guests enjoying themselves, but the master of the feast was so impressed by the bridegroom’s choice of wine, he publically commended him about saving the best for last! Of course, she and the disciples knew Jesus had done the miraculous – all as a manifestation of His glory for their benefit. (John 2:1-11)
– Mary had seen and heard so many incredible things while Jesus ministered throughout the region, but none could prepare her for that terrible day when she would watch the unthinkable – His crucifixion on Golgotha. Her Son had endured unspeakable torture and humiliation before His death, and yet, He lovingly presented her to His beloved disciple John to care for as his own mother. She couldn’t comprehend such a selfless gesture as He hung suspended between life and death. Her Son had indeed been a special gift of God… (John 19:25-30)
Like most of us, she likely had someone approach her over the years about her famous Son, perhaps relaying a specific event or milestone, saying, “Mary, did you know…?”